Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

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Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:28 am

Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

The Corsair P256 Solid State Drive uses Samsung Multi-Layer Cell (MLC) flash chips along with a 128mb DDR cache chip and the new 2nd generation Samsung controller to deliver 214MB/s read and 190MB/s write speeds! This means that the Corsair P256 is one of the fastest SSDs on the market today, so sit back and check this new bad boy out!

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In the end the it turns out that the Corsair P256 Solid State Drive is nothing more than a re-badged Samsung PB22-J 256GB SSD. There is nothing wrong with this though as numerous companies re-label products and call them what they wish. I am actually glad that Corsair is selling this drives under their name as the Samsung PB22-J 256GB SSD is only available to OEMs as Samsung doesn't sell its SSDs direct to the consumer. This means that Corsair is the first company to bring this product to the consumer market and it will be a big deal as you can see that performance is amazing on this SSD.


Article Title: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/949/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $749.99
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby FZ1 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:06 am

Hmmmm...the SSD market is really starting to get interesting now. I hear Corsair has another drive in the works, same with SuperTalent, now Intel and OCZ reportedly has an SLC version of the Vertex coming soon plus they just released a beta app to use the trim function along with the vertex firmware that supports it. Giggity.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Gomeler » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:53 am

That thing is a beast. We'll be needing SATA III connectivity soon enough with the rate these drives are growing. Do you know if there will be smaller drives like a 32GB version? Wouldn't mind a few 32GB drives in RAID0 :supz:
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby gwolfman » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:57 am

Thanks for the review. The HD Tune Pro random write performance tests are very valuable. :supz: It's good to see solid (no pun intended) results.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Major_A » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:37 am

Can someone please tell me why these drives are so damn expensive?

PCB - Cheap
RAM/Memory - Cheap
Housing - Cheap
R&D - Expensive

Are we still paying for all the R&D time or is there something else that I am missing here?
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby FZ1 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:49 am

The high capacity nand flash chips aren't cheap.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby FeRaL » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:46 am

Very nice, but still to rich for my pocket... For the price of one drive you could build one hell of a PC with a VRaptor and still feel good about yourself. Hell, that drive costs more than my laptop cost me.

And... If I picked up a "cheap" Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB, my laptop which already runs pretty nice would run even better than it currently does with its "free 250GB hard drive (5400RPM)" upgrade drive that came with the laptop when I bought it.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:43 pm

I just wanted to confirm that this drive does come with a 2 year warranty...

Corsair also told me that will be coming out with a 128MB version of this drive...

They also have cheaper jMicron based drives coming in smaller capacities like 64GB.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby bluelight » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:55 pm

I believe it's 1GBit and so 128Mbyte cache. Second if the reviewer starts the article with comparison to Intel drive, I don't understand why there are no test results of that drive in the review. Second not sure if the reviewer had access to OCZ Vertex (or similar) but those results would have shed a different light on the tested drive. Vertex would be a tough customer to beat (speaking from personal experience).

My 2 cents
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:57 pm

The reason I didn't include the Intel drive is because a new firmware update is coming out next week... This will be the first update change to the drive in over half a year and it impacts performance. The firmware is under NDA so I can't post results... hate to show results when they will be wrong next week.

That was my reasoning. I noted in the conclusion that I'll do another article on this next week, so hang tight and I'll bring you the latest and greatest numbers. As for the Vertex, would you like to see it tossed into the mix?
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby hox » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:02 pm

@ apoptosis:
Do you have a sense of whether the 256gb corsair drive will have issues with fragmentation? I am not sure any controller gets around this as it has to do with how data is ulitmately placed in NAND versus stored on a platter.

Thanks
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby bluelight » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:03 pm

I know how Vertex performs, but maybe for the benefit of others sure, if you could. Thanks. Looking forward to your review of the updated Intel drive.

Cheers
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby FZ1 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:10 pm

Guys, SSD's use a wear leveling algorithm to intentionally fragment the data so there is even wear on the NAND cells since they have a finite life of erase/writes. This has very little impact on performance. What will impact performance is when you "erase" data, it doesn't truly reset the cell so any writes to that cell require an erase and write cycle which takes extra time. This starts to occur when the drive fills up 80% or so with non-empty cells (for simplicity's sake) which begins to force the drive to do the erase/write thing. The worst part is that writes are done in blocks so it isn't just a few, but many which is what impacts the performance. There is a procedure called "trim" that will likely be built into Win 7 (it is not present in the data) that will reset these cells where there is no "active" data. However, the controller firmware must support this so that may be the true question you would like answered.

I hope that made sense!
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby davin8r » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:17 pm

OCZ just added support for TRIM in their latest Vertex BIOS update (v1.10):

Changelog
Version 1.10 (April 7, 2009)
• Feature Add : TRIM support is added
• Apple Mac Pro sleep/wake up support added
• Updater improved
• Bad block management function improved
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:06 am

I got a half dozen e-mails from people over the weekend about this article and I wanted to share one e-mail with you guys that a reader name Mike sent me...

Dell also has the rebranded samsung 256GB, and is quite a bit cheaper off of their website: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod ... u=341-9999

Increase the storage capacity of your Dell™ Laptop with Solid State Hard Drive from Dell. It boasts a storage capacity of up to 256 GB, enabling you to store large amounts of data. Featuring Serial ATA interface...

Price $699.99

Manufacturer Part# : J246M | Dell Part# : 341-9999


You should be able to get coupons at a lot of sites to reduce this cost further.

Here are some customers that confirm the OEM: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthr ... ?p=4724843

also:

In honor of Earth Month, Dell wants to help upgrade dated systems by offering an exclusive 10% savings on your next Dell hard drive purchase for the entire month of April. When you call 1-888-925-4528, you will receive this limited time 10% savings. And as part of our commitment to better fit your schedule, we’ve extended ordering hours for parts to 8 p.m. CT. Offer ends 5/07/09. US Only


So if Mike is correct and this is the same re-badge that Corsair is selling you can purchase it from Dell for $630, which is much cheaper than the $749 MSRP that the Corsair drives have that are coming out today.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Distortedloop » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:48 pm

The Dell drive advertises as SATA 1 (150mb/s). Is that the same as the Samsung reveiwed? Does it matter?

Looks almost impossible to actually buy one of these Samsungs. No one has them in stock, if they even carry them.
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby leexgx » Fri May 15, 2009 11:06 am

what stuttering issues with vertex drives there are none as long as 1275 or ver 1.1v is loaded ( http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storag ... d-review/1 there is allso an anandtech review as well that was before done in april), at the time of posting of this review the vertex was work in progess due to anandtech review, the OCZ perfoamce was very bad speeds comming from it and there past SSDs, (1275 or 1.1v is good)

these corsair are intresting drives with 128mb cache seem nice and fast (i have allso linked this site to bit tech as well) not checked all pages yet, latency is very good as well, bit tech and anandtech need to get one to test
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue May 19, 2009 8:50 am

leexgx wrote:what stuttering issues with vertex drives there are none as long as 1275 or ver 1.1v is loaded ( http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storag ... d-review/1 there is allso an anandtech review as well that was before done in april), at the time of posting of this review the vertex was work in progess due to anandtech review, the OCZ perfoamce was very bad speeds comming from it and there past SSDs, (1275 or 1.1v is good)

these corsair are intresting drives with 128mb cache seem nice and fast (i have allso linked this site to bit tech as well) not checked all pages yet, latency is very good as well, bit tech and anandtech need to get one to test


The Vertex with pre firware v1.1 had some slight stutters when doing extreme multi-tasking. As you noted the Vertex with the newer firmware s very solid - http://www.legitreviews.com/article/954/1/
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby FZ1 » Tue May 19, 2009 9:43 am

Nate, are you using the Corsair drive regularly? Just wondering how it is working under "normal" conditions. Also, see my PM...
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Re: Corsair P256 256GB MLC Solid State Drive Review

Postby leexgx » Mon May 25, 2009 11:51 pm

the P256 is 128MB cache not 1GB

i like the way your reviews are been done as you show (you need to fix opera + been able to save the login tick box does not work)

i using an Corsair S128 right now and works so well

CrystalDiskMark 2.2 for my S128 here

Sequential Read : 100.103 MB/s
Sequential Write : 74.717 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 99.168 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 59.977 MB/s
Random Read 4KB : 19.423 MB/s
Random Write 4KB : 5.688 MB/s

write cache on (default) and adv off (try'ed ADV on did nothing to the results turning Write cache of turned it into an JMicron drive performance on the write tests hehe) so its very important that Write caching is turned on as the corsair does obay the windows caching option so if it not let you turn it on performance of the drive will be less (on writing) , update your drivers if it not let you turn it on (intel matrix or Nvidia chipset drivers) use AICH if you can as well, when not useing RAID not that you need to use RAID any way on good SSDS

the IOPS for the P256 do not seem much better then my S128 (need to do an HD tune Write test but cant do that when i am using the SSD as an boot drive) i guessing the Write performance is better on the P256 then my S128 SSD (the S128 only has 32mb cache P256 has 128MB)

i know the above seems quite slow on data rates but it is fast due to latency, i tested my hard disk as well the WD black 1TB disk on writeing 512KB was was doing 100MB/s on that test that seems very well on the 512KB test when read was only doing 50MB, on 4K writes it tanked to 2MB/s (read 0.9MB/s) but i guess the latency was very high at that point on that HDD, turning off Write cache on HDD has more of an bad affect that it does on the SSDs, the HDD was faster at Writeing for all random tests then reading must of been due to the cache on the HDD burst Writeing and NCQ, that my S128 lacks (NCQ)
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